Shalom Baby: Support for New Families in Central MA
Posted by Deb Shrier
Parenting a newborn or young child runs the gamut of emotions and experiences: excitement, exhaustion, joy. This early time can also present new challenges such as being home full-time, perhaps without a network of family or friends to lend support or stop by for a visit. For men or women who are new to parenting, living in a new community or away from extended family can also be somewhat isolating.
Shalom Baby, a program offered in Central MA by JF&CS and available through a grant from the Jewish Federation of Central MA, has been developed to connect with new parents. Shalom Baby is offered to families with children from newborn to six months (through birth or adoption) with at least one Jewish parent. Our Coordinator welcomes families to the Jewish community with a home visit, gift package, and resource guides to local Jewish programs and events. The family does not have to be affiliated with a congregation to receive a Shalom Baby visit.
The work we do in our Center for Early Relationship Support® gives us a strong foundation for Shalom Baby. Our goal is to assist families who may not be fully aware of what the community has to offer Jewish or interfaith families. The Shalom Baby Coordinator brings useful gifts for parent and child - and sometimes even a little something for a new big brother or sister. We share a variety of information about Jewish resources in the area, such as synagogues that offer Tot Shabbat, family services, or other programming geared towards families with young children.
The response from area synagogues has been quite positive. Most of the referrals received by the Shalom Baby program have been through rabbis of local synagogues and other area Jewish resources and groups such as the Jewish Federation of Central MA.
Know a new family in Central MA who would benefit from a visit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to register today.
Deb Shrier, LICSW, is the Director of Community & Program Development of JF&CS Central MA. Deb enjoys writing and has contributed to various adoption publications as well as the JF&CS blog. She has lived and raised her family in Central MA for nearly 20 years.